Libya's leader has reprimanded the country over its over-dependence on foreign imports and oil. He has urged the economy to improve its manufacturing sector and increase productivity.
In a series of speeches since early July, leader Muammar Gaddafi has highlighted numerous criticisms noting that the country needs to stop relying exclusively on imports and becoming exclusively a consumer society.
â€œThe kind of trade in which you produce nothing and import goods in exchange for oil, it's a catastrophe. Libya could have become an economic power like Japan were it not â€˜socially backward,â€™â€ Jamahiriya, a Libyan news agency quoted him as saying.
There has been speculation that the critical speeches leading up to his address of the nation on September 1 will reveal further reforms to modernize the country.
Libya which had been under sanctions for years, has re-emerged on the international stage after most U.S. sanctions were lifted in 2004. In May, the Bush administration said it would re-establish formal ties with Tripoli as a repayment for Libya's scrapping of its weapons of mass destruction program.
This has greatly benefited the country as it enjoys access to Western imports, however the government is not economically self- reliant and is still working to tackle its unemployment rate, which is currently around 13 percent.
We don't produce anything. We sell only oil and consume everything, Gaddafi added.